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JohnInBlack (UK)

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Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind)
Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind)
Offered by Sent2u
Price: £9.25

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Classic, 16 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In my opinion Gary Numan has never made a bad album, although some have had moments that are none to clever, especially on Outland and Machine + Soul.
Gary resurrected his career with the superb Sacrifice album that saw him return to a darker, more sinister sound that coupled his electronic genius with brooding industrial sounds. Since then each album has been an absolute joy and Splinter is no exception. This one though is less "in your face" than Pure and Jagged. It is more a mix of his modern sound while recapturing the cold fragility of Telekon and the Pleasure Principle. It is for that reason I give this album the full 5 star review. It is full of texture and layers, up-tempo "stompers" and beautifully reflective numbers that together produces an album that could be defined a career classic.


Darkest White
Darkest White
Price: £10.08

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Consistently Inconsistent, 9 Oct. 2013
This review is from: Darkest White (Audio CD)
Like previous Tristania albums this one is by no means instant and on the first 3 listens I wasn't even sure I liked the album. Then on the fourth listen it hit home and I found myself enjoying the album, even the opening track Numbers, which for me is the weakest song.
The album opener should have been the title track Darkest White which is a classic and I think the inclusion of the bonus track "Cathedral" does the album no favours.
Like all good albums the closing track is excellent and leaves one looking forward to hearing the album again.
I have followed Tristania since Widows Weeds and they have always been inconsistent, capable of hitting great highs but occasionally recording a duff song. What they are though is interesting and demanding of attention, certainly never dull and that is why I will continue to follow them.
A solid 4 star review for a good piece of gothic metal.


Perils Of The Deep Blue
Perils Of The Deep Blue
Price: £18.15

4.0 out of 5 stars Back On Form, 28 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Perils Of The Deep Blue (Audio CD)
Sometimes one really needs to listen to an album a good few times before making an objective summary, especially with albums such as this where there are many layers and a lot going on within the music.
The best work of Morten Veland has never been instantly accessible; the first two albums by both Tristania and Sirenia bare this out. The last Sirenia album, The Enigma of Life was good but I have always felt Sirenia are better than good and when on form can produce some classic Gothic/symphonic metal to rival the best of Nightwish etc.

I think Perils Of The Deep Blue comes very close to being the best so far delivered by Sirenia. An album that although does not veer from its Gothic metal roots very much has enough variety to keep it interesting. A better blend of vocals is a big plus and there is some mean bass work which is not often a feature of this type of music. The orchestral and choral samples are superb and give the album its grand anthemic moments and provided depth and texture to a fine array of songs.
All in all, a very good album.


The Journey
The Journey
Price: £8.71

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Country, 13 May 2013
This review is from: The Journey (Audio CD)
I wanted to make sure I didn't rush into reviewing this album as Big Country have been such an important band to me, I wanted to fully digest the album first.
I had my doubts about this latest incarnation of Big Country as the 3 piece revival a few years back that to be honest sounded awful. However, after seeing the 5 piece line-up live with Jamie Watson and Mike Peters I was very impressed. The news that Tony Butler had left was a surprise but Derek Forbes is a very competent replacement. The big question though was could a Big Country with only 2 original members left deliver a new album that had the intrinsic sound and atmosphere of the original band but be modern enough not to sound like a tribute act? The answer for me is an overwhelming "yes". This album is pure quality from start to finish with 12 wonderful songs that have Big Country stamped firmly right through them. I would go so far as to say that this offering can stand up against The Crossing and The Seer and is a far stronger album than their last one with Stuart which is not bad but sounds like a band that has run out of ideas.
I will not get into individual songs here only to say this album has something for all Big Country fans to enthuse over, the big anthemic sounds, the intricate stirring guitars, the hope and passion of a band revelling in the beauty of music.
This album is a must for those of us who thought Big Country were dead when the late, great Stuart Adamson died.


Chronicles
Chronicles
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £16.17

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 17 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Chronicles (Audio CD)
My heading says it all, this is first album of dramtic trailer music I have owned and I love it. This feels like the "heavy metal" of classical symphonic music and I cannot recommend it highly enough.


Live With The BBC Concert Orchestra
Live With The BBC Concert Orchestra
Price: £4.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gentle departure, 17 Dec. 2012
I was at this concert and Seth came across very well with the orchestrated arrangements of these songs. On the night they did 6 songs but for some reason the Bold Knight was not included in this recording, which is the reason why I have not given it the full 5 stars. Nevertheless, this is a very good, unique EP.


THE SERPENT'S CURSE
THE SERPENT'S CURSE

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality Second Album, 27 Nov. 2012
This review is from: THE SERPENT'S CURSE (Audio CD)
Pythia had a lot to live up to after their excellent debut, Beneath The Veiled Embrace. I am very pleased to say that this album does not disappoint and makes a very strong mark on the Gothic/symphonic metal genre. What is refreshing, that for once, Britain has a strong act in a field that is dominated by the European power houses.
This album is strong yet melodic with some wonderfully epic vocals although there are moments where the vocals get lost in the music. I love the power and intensity on this album and the more I play it the more I like it. There is a nice variation in the tracks and the album is not too long therefore stopping it descending into indulgence as can often happen in this genre. I am struggling to pick a favourite track so I will not bother, simply to conclude that this is a very good album.


The Grand Design
The Grand Design
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £10.28

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not What I Was Expecting., 16 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Grand Design (Audio CD)
As a big fan of Nightwish, Within Temptation, Theatre Of Tragedy and the like I had high hopes for this album.
Well, what can I say? For me this album was a major disappointment on first listen and it has taken me a few listens to actually start to like this album. It's not great, it has too many metal cliché's and too many poor moments. However, for all that, I find the album quite endearing in places but this is not in the same league as the offerings from the bands above.


A Map Of All Our Failures
A Map Of All Our Failures
Price: £12.82

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Failure is a great success., 24 Oct. 2012
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It is because of bands like My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, Candlemass etc that I got into metal, the Gothic & Doom variety back in the mid 90's. My Dying Bride are not easy listening but do they know how to tell a story, paint an audio landscape and sear the heart with the melancholy of lost and abandoned love and hope. A Map Of All Our Failures does not disappoint on that score. Musically this album has a coarse edge, maybe not as polished as Lies but that does not diminish the album. There are some lovely moments of violin to layer the atmosphere and the keyboards are used to good effect. Lyrically the album is as strong as ever and the scene set by A Tapestry Scorned is up there with their best.
I must admit that I was a bit under whelmed by The Barghest O'Whitby but this album more than sets that to right. It is down to the overall strength of the album that I will refrain from naming favourite tracks; the album is a complete work and must be enjoyed as such.


Psalms For The Dead (Cddvd) (L
Psalms For The Dead (Cddvd) (L
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £10.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Effort, 2 Oct. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Because I have only got to know the more recent work of Candlemass I feel I can look objectively on this rather than compare it to their "classic" work. What I hear on this album I like. The typical crushing rhythms, bass attack and great, almost hypnotic guitar riffs. There are also some superb keyboard Hammond organ type breaks during the album that give it an almost prog rock feel.
When I look through the track list it is hard to focus on one song and that speaks for the quality running through this album, but if pushed, the title track and Siren Song are ones I would list as favourites but that would be doing a disservice to the rest of the album.
I have no hesitation in giving this the full 5 stars.


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